Nairobi News

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Sh700 fare unrealistic, nothing to celebrate about SGR – bus owners

Owners and managers of bus companies in Mombasa have said it is too early for Kenyans to celebrate the new Sh327 billion Mombasa-Nairobi railway.

President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the project on Wednesday and announced a Sh700 fare for economy class.

Some bus owners have criticised the government for failing to consult stakeholders in the transport sector only to surprise them with a low fare that could kill their businesses.

They said the railway project was rushed without putting up proper supports, including a road connecting the Mombasa CBD to the Miritini SGR station.

They said that the fare set by the President was unrealistic and political. Bus companies charge between Sh900 and Sh2,500 fare from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Mombasa Raha and Buscar director Abubakar Said said bus owners were surprised when the President announced Sh700 as fare for the economy class, and not Sh900 as earlier suggested.

“The President should have considered us because we have invested heavily in the transport sector. It will really affect us, we will definitely run out of business,” he said.

Mash East Africa general manager Lenox Shallo said the SGR was an alternative means that would cater for its own type of clientele.

“It is a situation of wait and see. As passenger transporters, we cannot predict what will happen to us,” said Mr Shallo.

He said that the Sh700 fare would depend on the capacity of passengers for the SGR.

However, he said the bus business would be affected by the SGR.